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Sponsors Will Offset Cost of Blackhawks Parade, Chicago Says

Chicago will host parade for Stanley Cup champions Friday morning

| BY Kent McDill

For the second time in four years, the city of Chicago will host a parade for the Chicago Blackhawks, and this one will be longer, and more expensive, than the one held in early June in 2010.

The 2010 parade was estimated to cost $200,000, and costs then were offset by contributions from ComEd, Bud Light, the CBOE and Harris Bank. With expected greater costs this year, the city has received sponsorship pledges from Allstate Corp., Boeing Co., BMO Harris Bank, Bud Light, ComEd and CME Group Inc.

By comparison, the special taping of Oprah Winfrey’s final show, which closed portions of Michigan Ave., cost less than $55,000, but the Obama rally in 2008 cost $1.7 million.

When the city of San Francisco celebrated the World Series title for its baseball Giants, the city ended up spending $225,000 on the parade, but the Giants paid for some of the basic elements of the parade, such as confetti and the presentation held at Civic Center Plaza.

San Francisco city officials said the cost was offset by profits from the playoff games held in the city.

The major cost for cities to host parades is in police overtime. Last year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade cost New York close to $200,000 in police overtime. In 2008, the city of Philadelphia figured it cost the city almost $1 million to host a celebration for the World Series champion Phillies, and following, the parade, the city announced further celebrations of that sort would be paid for by parade sponsors.

The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup Monday, and the city spent the week planning the parade, which will begin at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Des Plaines and Washington Streets, heading east toward Grant Park via Michigan and Randolph to Columbus Drive. A rally will be held at Hutchinson Field in Grant Park, which has hosted both Lollapalooza and the 2008 rally for Barack Obama in recent years.

In 2010, the final stopping point of the parade was Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive, which proved to be a dangerous intersection for such a celebration. An estimated 2 million people attended the parade in 2010, which was two weeks earlier in June than Friday’s celebration.

Streets along the parade route will be closed beginning at midnight Friday, creating commuter and traffic difficulties for the morning commute Friday.  However, rail service will be increased and bus detours are scheduled.

The rally area will be fenced, and anyone entering the area will have bags searched. Backpacks are discouraged.

The city of Chicago does not have a long history of sports-related victory parades, although business has picked up in the last decade.

In the winter of 1986, on a brutally cold day in Chicago, a parade was held for the 1985 Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears, but the city seemed ill-prepared for the event, and the parade itself was snarled by crowds getting in the way of the team busses. The crowd estimate for that was hundreds of thousands.

The Chicago Bulls won six titles in the 1990s but had zero parades. Instead, rallies were held at Grant Park for each of the championships.

When the Chicago White Sox won the 2005 World Series, their parade also took place on a Friday, but it was a school day in October, which may have held attendance below 1 million fans. However, it was the first celebration of a World Series win in Chicago since 1917, which added to the exuberant nature of the event.

About the Author

Kent McDill

Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.

In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.

McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.

McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy  Buffett and all things Disney.